Destination: Uncertain Texas

It all started so innocently. Photographer Jenny Sathagam reached out and said that she was heading to Caddo Lake for a magazine assignment with her friend Danny and needed some wooden paddle boards. I'd only met Jenny once a few years back when she photographed our wood SUPs for Texas Monthly but had never met her friend Danny. Caddo Lake in Uncertain, TX had been on my radar for paddle boarding for years and I was scheduled to be relatively close by so I said, "lets do it." 

As I pulled in on a unseasonably cool May afternoon, I immediately began questioning my decision. You know those scary movies where everyone dies? That's what this place looks like. Its the kind of place where if you screamed bloody murder, your nearest neighbor two miles away would turn the radio up louder to drown the noise out. 

I'm always in for fun so I figured, let's stick around and see what Uncertain TX is all about. Before breaking out the wooden paddle boards and paddling through the swamp, we figured, let's get a boat tour to explore the place. Immediately the true beauty of the Caddo Lake became apparent. It's unlike anywhere else in Texas or anywhere for that matter. 14 foot gators? Check! Abundant wildlife? Check! Interesting characters? CHECK!

I'm not going to lie. This place was starting to grow on me. It's just so peaceful, remote and unexplainably beautiful. Post swamp tour, we made our way down to the "end of the road" to the general store for a beer run. We had been told that the general store serves as a jumping off point for fishermen heading out on the lake. As we head to the store, Jenny slams on the breaks jumps out of the car and yells over her shoulder,  "drive the car." As it turns out, Jenny is not only an amazing photographer, she also has a soft spot for turtles crossing the road that need a little help getting back to the water. 

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The town general store did not disappoint. While we only planned to visit for a few minutes to get a 6er, all three of us fell in love with this little country store/bar. We cursed as the storm clouds rolled in and it started to rain. "Ah shucks" I guess we'd better stick around until the rain let's up. During this torrential downpour, we met some of the most interesting people ever. Some came for beer, others came for bait to go fishing. All of them, and I mean all of them were some of the nicest people I've ever met. 

As the sun started to go down I noticed a "tip" jar for fireworks on the counter. I honestly can't remember what I said, but the next thing I know the lady behind the counter was saying, "bring me my fireworks key!"  CJ in a cammo onesie shows up and cash is exchanged for fireworks. This is where traveling with talented photographers really pays off. A torch was retrieved from my truck and as the sun set, the fun began! 

Photo Courtesy of Danielle Chloe Photography

What does any of this have to do with wood paddle boards? Well, Jenny's assignment was to photograph me paddling our wooden sups but the weather so far hadn't really cooperated. Post fireworks night, we woke at 6 am to a crisp clear morning. This was truly a photographers dream. Clear skies, early morning light and this epic steam rising off a swampy lake. 

That morning, we watched the sunrise, paddled some, took lots of pictures and mostly sat in silence and stared in amazement at just how magical this corner of Texas is. 

Moral of the story? If a "stranger" says let's go on a road trip. Say yes. Especially if the destination is Uncertain Texas and paddle boarding is involved. You won't be disappointed. 

By Tony Smith

See more of Jenny and Danny's work below:

http://www.jennysathngam.com

https://www.daniellechloephotography.com

https://www.instagram.com/daniellechloephotography/

https://www.instagram.com/jennysath/

Carry More Gear On Your Wooden Paddle Board

Our mission has always been to build the best wooden paddle board possible. As such, we are continually tweaking, updating, and improving our wood SUPs. With that in mind, we've been working on ways to help paddlers carry more and do more with their wooden SUPs. We've updated the Rio-Grande, Guadalupe, and Trinity models to include rear-mounted removable bungee straps. These nearly invisible bungee straps make it easier than ever to carry your gear for those longer days on the water. 

 
 

In addition, we've added integrated mounting points to the Rio-Grande model so that paddlers can securely attach their Yeti Roadie or Yeti 35 coolers. The mounting points securely attach the cooler to your board using nylon straps.  A cooler increases versatility of your wooden paddle board serving as a seat, and can double as an additional mounting point for accessories. In addition, you can carry along your favorite beverages for a fun day out on the water. 

While upgrading our wood SUPs we managed to keep both the weight and costs the same. In addition, the visual aesthetic of our wooden SUPs has not been altered.